The Gray Plague: Living Through History — Such A Potential WuFlu Pandemic — Would *Not* Be *Fun*

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Only once in the post-WWII era has living through history lived up to its hype — the fall of Communism. That was kind of “fun-interesting.” Few people got hurt and it was a made-for-TV moment of hope that happened out of nowhere.

And now we have a potential pandemic in the guise of the WuFlu outbreak in Wuhan. I’m seeing a lot of “giddy” people wallowing in fear porn about the prospect of, well, the end of the world and these people are, to say the least, rather misguided. There’s a reason why the phrase, “May you live in interesting times” is a curse. Living through history sucks. When history wakes up like during, say, a war, it sucks on an human, practical level. The narrative of the history books can be extremely disturbing as it’s happening in real time.

Hence, if whatever is stopping people dying from WuFlu changed rather abruptly, it would suck. It would not be fun. It would be an process, not an event that would cause a huge amount of global instability for months with aftershocks that would last years and decades. It would be referred by future generations the same way WWII has been referred to for the last three generations: the moment when everything changed.

We’re just not prepared on a practical level for something that’s not a day-long event like 9/11 was, but a process that is measured in days, weeks, and months. Empires of various sorts — political, technological and otherwise — would rise and fall by the time it was all over with.

My guess is if the worst happened — which I neither believe will happen, nor want – things like Hollywood and the newspaper industry would collapse and we’d have a few years of us all struggling to figure out what just happened and how we were going to adjust to the new normal where VR, AR, MX and everything Elon Musk has been working on suddenly were the core part of life.

Anyway, as I keep saying, something dramatic has to happen. It’s out of our hands, too. WuFlu is all over the world at this point. For some reason, only people in Wuhan itself have a real risk of actually dying. If you’re outside of that city, then, you may get sick from WuFlu, but your chances of actually dying from it are actually pretty low.

What — to date — has made WuFlu different in Wuhan remains a mystery to me. But to go back to the point — while I would be concerned and informed about WuFlu, it’s looking like it’s going to fizzle out by April as predicted.

If it doesn’t it’s going to suck. The basics of life may be put in danger for months and existing governments of major nations like China, Russia and, yes, even the United States may fall to be replaced by new, unexpected styles of government altogether. I wouldn’t sleep on the idea that the United States is going have a revolution – civil war — division in months, not decades, if there was a pandemic. America’s political system is extremely taunt and we’re already in the Fourth Reich. A pandemic might push us into something far darker.

The point is, please refrain from indulging in fear porn on Twitter. This is real. This is real life — and death.

Japan & My Personal #WuFlu #Pandemic Metrics

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


A good chance exists that WuFlu is going to be seen as something of a dud by verified Twitter liberals. A million Chinese people could get sick or die and Vox would somehow poo-poo the concern of people like me in 2020 over WuFlu by pointing out no one cared during the Great Leap Forward or Cultural Revolution, either.

But how should we common folk look at what’s going on? What should people without a blue check on their Twitter account measure things? I have three metric that I use to get a sense of things.

Perception
Response
Fatalities

Let’s look at Japan and how it’s our firebreak going forward.

I feel it is now beyond our control to prevent a pandemic. Either it’s going to happen or it’s not. The main question is, of course, what about Wuhan makes it so special that that’s where the vast majorities deaths have occurred? Was the Wuhan outbreak an “event” and what’s going on around the world simply a side effect of that event, or, what? I’m not one to ascribe to conspiracy theories, but I do think a tipping point has come whereby we need to start asking that question — the fate of humanity may rest on it.

But back to Japan.

Japan is important because it’s a Western-style liberal democracy that couldn’t go China’s End Times route when it comes to WuFlu without us at least knowing why. And, Japan has a lot — a lot — of old people. Wuflu has a pretty brutal fatality rate for the elderly, enough that I say it has the potential to be The Gray Plague.

Not good.

So, if, for some reason, whatever is happening in Wuhan began to happen in Japan, we would at least know why. We would at least have some sense of what is really going on. The reason why that is so important is either Wuhan is a unique outbreak and is completely separate from what is going on around it, or it’s present is our future. That’s rather chilling because, well, I find it unlikely you could lock people in their homes like the CCP is doing in Wuhan in, say, Alabama, without some pretty serious consequences. And if they started doing that in Japan, then their social contract is strong enough that they would be screaming at the top of their lungs to explain why they felt forced to do it. It wouldn’t be some sort of surreal, mysterious over-reaction like it is in Wuhan.

Let’s look at Japan using my metrics.

Perception
Right now, our perception is the Japanese have everything under control. While, yes, their numbers are growing concerning, to the outside world it’s still a lulz. Vox is still more concerned about telling writers like me to NEVER “fridge” a female character for ANY REASON.

Response
The Japanese seem to be doing a decent job of responding to where things stand with WuFlu in their nation. The few, brief, times I’ve been in Japan, they seemed to be extremly professional and polite in everything they did and so they’re just the type of people you want on your front lines as the fate of Mankind begins to be potentially put at risk.

Fatalities
There are few, if any, fatalities in Japan right now. If a lot of people get sick, but don’t die, then we’re ok. Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world and if they get sick and don’t die, then we, again, will know Wuhan is “special” for some reason and things just aren’t going to get as bad as we may have initially feared.

Something dramatic is going to have to happen for me to get all that worried about WuFlu. There’s a good chance that WuFlu — until a vaccine comes out sometime next year — will be seen in the global consciousness as something like lyme disease — a bad illness, but not the end of the world.

I would definitely keep an eye on Japan, though. We’ll know one way or another soon enough. WuFlu is all over the globe right now, but people just aren’t getting sick that much and even fewer are dying. If that should happen to change sometime soon, that’s a different matter altogether.

Novel Development: If It Makes Me Laugh, I Put It In

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Though the novel I’m currently developing is supposed to be dark and serious, when it comes to actually developing it, generally, if something makes me laugh, I throw it into the mix.

And right now, I find the idea of a my female romantic lead being inspired by a specific famous person who is easy to do research on HILARIOUS. It’s just a hoot. And it gets funnier to more research I do because given the conditions of the scenario I have setup on an existential level in the novel, it it actually IS within the realm of the possible that my Hero could snag a woman otherwise so incredibly out of his league.

It’s very, very funny.

I mean, usually, constructing a character is hard work. You have to think up all these things about them to make them seem “real.” But since this character is inspired by a famous person who is quite open with their life, then it’s a lot easier to crib off of what is publicly known. And, as I’ve said before, this character is something of a treat to me for all the other hard work I have ahead of me.

And I like the idea of seeing if I can pull this off. I like the idea of SHOWING how life as an expat in Seoul leads to some surreal personal connections that otherwise would never, ever happen. The whole thing definitely lightens the mood whenever I look into how I can base the character in reality as much as possible and to see if I can make it believable that this otherwise bonkers thing (at least to outsiders) might actually happen.

Anyway. I’m sure I’ll see that person from Washington DC (is the FBI monitoring me?) or that other person from Sweden (ex boyfriend?) or that other person from Great Britain (member of her “team?”) snooping around my website in the paranoid fear that I’m some sort of crazy person when, in fact, I’m just a harmless writer looking for a bit of entertainment for myself.

Ugh. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Corona Virus Datapoints Are All Over The Place

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have no idea what’s going on with WuFlu right now. In some respects, it seems as though we may have dodged a bullet. Or, to put it another way, there aren’t any new additional hotzones as of yet anywhere outside of Wuhan itself.

And, yet, there definitely is a general sense that any moment that might change. A lot of cases are popping up all over world now, but there’s no existential explosion in cases from any one place. It’s a real headscratcher.

It’s possible that while there might be additional cases of people getting sick, we’re pretty much over any growth in deaths. I just don’t know. That’s the outcome I hope for. I just can’t bear to think what the alternative might be. It’s possible that at any moment we’re in for a major escalation in cases all over the globe at the same time –a pandemic.

The only thing that is really bothering me at this point is how at-risk the American elderly population is. The WuFlu mortality rate among the elderly is pretty brutal — it’s in the 75%-90% range. But I just can’t imagine it could get THAT bad. That would be astonishing on a historical level.

More likely, it’s going to be simply the perception of a pandemic — and the associated slowdown in the global economy that we have to worry about. A million Chinese could die and as long as one American doesn’t die, Americans will be too busy enjoying the “humming economy” to care why suddenly it wasn’t has humming anymore. Nothing matters in the Fourth Reich, don’t you know.

I keep saying the next few days will tell us what’s going to happen and then…nothing happens. I do have a novel to develop, so I really need to just focus on that for the time being.

Idle Rambling About The State Of The #Novel I’m Developing

Shelton Bumgarner

Some Theories On What Happens To Pop Culture Now

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Now that we’re in the Fourth Reich after the acquittal of Trump, what happens to pop culture? I thought at first maybe a sizable chunk of the audience might want some sort of emotional catharsis. But I now think it may be a bit more complex than that.

What’s more likely to happen is we’ll enter a sort of second 70s in that a lot of people are just going to want to dance while other people want to see serious, gritty movies and TV show that address what just happened. I think. I don’t know.

Given what the novel I’m writing is about, I definitely have a vested interest in people wanting Trumplandia catharsis. But we’ll see. I’m writing a novel instead of screenplay because I live in the middle of nowhere, it affords me more nuanced creative universe building ability and just don’t want to write a screenplay right now.

Back To #Novel Development #amwriting #writing #writinglife

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


Barring, like, a global pandemic, I am going to officially jump back into the development of my novel immediately with an eye to wrapping it up in a few months. Things are going really well and as such I’m going to give myself until April.

Then, I’m going to throw myself into writing a really, really good first draft.

Practical Responses To WuFlu On A Personal Level

Can’t Get Sick If You Don’t Catch It
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I have no idea what is going to happen with WuFlu. None. It could be that it’s going to simply be problem for the greater East Asia area and that’s it. It will stay an abstract in the West and the only thing anyone in the States will notice is a slight slowdown in the economy. The Fourth Reich will chug along with gusto and I end up in an ICE camp within two years.

Then there’s a much darker option — all hell breaks loose. When that might happen, I don’t know. Could be today, could be 12 weeks from now. But here are some practical ways to address WuFlu as we wait. (Please note, I’m not a medical professional and I’m simply giving you my educated opinion from what I’ve read on Twitter.)

Wash Your Hands
This is important because it’s easy to do in private. Everytime you shake hands or touch your face, you need to wash your hands as soon as possible.

Wear A Mask
I continue to hear contradictory things about this. Some say a mask doesn’t help, while other say it does. But the basic thing is it prevents you from touching your face.

Change How You Greet People
In “hotzones” they don’t just fistbump, they sometimes elbow bump as well. You can be sly and fistbump people, while elbow bumping is rather eerie if the person you want to do it with is unfamiliar.

Hopefully, we won’t have to worry about any of this. Hopefully, this is just a another scare that passes like so much dust in the wind.

#WuFlu Datapoints Of Note For Feb. 1st, 2020

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

The following things are happening or are in the process of wrapping up between now and Wednesday.

Impeachment in the US (Finishes on Wednesday.)
Superbowl (Sunday, Feb 2nd.)
Iowa Caucus (Monday, Feb. 3rd.)
State of the Union (Tuesday, Feb. 4th.)

The Oscars are later this month as well.

All of these are social events with either large groups of people are large groups of powerful people shaking hands or being in the same room together for long durations of time.

As I understand it, a delegation of 80 MAGA sycophants holding positions all over the US government is going to Iowa over the next few days. They will take planes together and be in the same place at the same time.

Queen Elisabeth II / 93
Prince Philip / 98
Prince Charles / 71
Donald Trump / 73
Joe Biden / 77
Bernie Sanders / 78

There have been no reported deaths outside of China to date.

I’m sure everything is going to work out and America will be made great again.

V-Log: Observations About Writing Strong, Believable Female Characters In Fiction

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

What I believe.